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Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Olives & Goat Cheese

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Serves 4

  • by Joanne Weir from Fine Cooking
    Issue 26

This recipe is fun to play with. Try sun-dried tomatoes added to (or in place of) the olives. In the summer, I flavor the goat cheese with fresh herbs such as basil, chives, and mint.

  • 3 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 1 Tbs. milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Pinch crumbled dried oregano
  • Pinch dried chile flakes
  • 1 Tbs. chopped kalamata or other good-quality black olives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz. each)
  • (see "How to bone a chicken breast")
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese and milk together until smooth. Mix in the garlic, parsley, oregano, and chile flakes. Stir in the olives and season with salt and pepper.

On the thickest side of each breast, cut a deep, 3-inch-long pocket. Using your fingers, stuff the goat cheese mixture into each pocket. Close by pressing the flesh together, securing with a toothpick if necessary.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Have ready a lid that's too small for the pan but will cover all the breasts. Cook the chicken on one side until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the breasts over, season with salt and pepper, and set the small lid on top of them. Continue to sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about another 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate. Pour the wine into the pan and cook, scraping up the flavorful brown bits stuck to the pan, until it's reduced to a glossy syrup. Drizzle the reduction over the chicken and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 340; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 7; Protein (g): 39; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 1; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 520; Cholesterol (mg): 110; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

The best chicken recipe ever! I've been making this ever since it was published in '98. Very easy to make.

I'm amazed this hasn't been rated before. We've done it frequently since it was published in 3/98. Wonderful blending of flavors. The garlic doesn't get cooked, just warmed, so keep that in mind. I heat the goat cheese in the microwave oven to make it easier to mix with the other ingredients. If anything, I add more olives--proportions aren't that important. I'm still trying to make nice pockets in the chicken. If I make long openings I use wooden skewers to close the opening. Both wine and chicken broth make lovely sauce.

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